Inspectors from Ofsted say court proceedings in England are causing the most significant delay for children who are waiting to be adopted.
John Goldup, deputy chief inspector at Ofsted, told the Today programme's Justin Webb that while adoption is a "necessarily complex process", the delay to the child caused by the number of repeat assessments is "adding months and sometimes years" to the process.
"It is about the balance between how far do you go before checking and double-checking and checking again that the natural parents aren't going to able to bring this child up, and the interests of the child," he said.
"If you're one year old, two years old, a delay of 14 months, 15 months before a decision can be made that you need a new family is an awfully long time."
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